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Golf is Exclusive? An iPhone costs more than most sets of clubs and a bucket of balls is less than a movie.


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Polo is an exclusive sport, not golf. It's a nightmare trying to sell last year's horse on ebay.

I have friends who say golf is expensive and exclusive. They also ride their $5,000 bikes for five hours on the weekend...

Calling Golf exclusive is just rubbish. An iPhone costs more than most sets of clubs and a bucket of balls is less than a movie in most places.   The truth is Golf is hard and not about natu

32 minutes ago, freowho said:

You don't need a collared shirt to buy an iphone or go to a movie. Golf is slowly changing but not fast enough.

I agree golf is hard and not for everyone and it doesn't need to be.

I obviously grew up in a little different place / era, my 2 local courses only rules 35 years ago were a shirt with sleeves, no collar necessary 🙂 and no bare feet or flip flops. How much is a collared shirt now days, 5 dollars at K-Mart? My local range still allows any dress as long as it's neat and one down the road allows pretty much anything other than naked 🙂 The local Starbucks is far more exclusive IMHO.

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With golf it's the time commitment that makes it exclusive, not just the entry fee.  Very difficult for working class parents to be able to devote the kind of time that golfing requires.  It basically requires working less hours or hiring more help.  Either way it gets expensive rather quickly. 

 

Moreover, golf naturally requires you to play it during day hours and not evenings (like cinema for example).  Finally it's effort and a physical activity, sometimes people simply do not have the energy to do stuff like that after their exhausting shifts.

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I agree OP.  I’m a member at a club that also lets in the public.  So semi private. And it’s anything but exclusive.  Just watch the clientele teeing off on Saturday morning.  Lol. If that’s exclusive I’ll kiss your butt.  You can start this game for under $200 plus greens fee , clubs and all if you’re smart.  

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1 hour ago, rafal said:

With golf it's the time commitment that makes it exclusive, not just the entry fee.  Very difficult for working class parents to be able to devote the kind of time that golfing requires.  It basically requires working less hours or hiring more help.  Either way it gets expensive rather quickly. 

 

Moreover, golf naturally requires you to play it during day hours and not evenings (like cinema for example).  Finally it's effort and a physical activity, sometimes people simply do not have the energy to do stuff like that after their exhausting shifts.

I think what you're saying and what I'm hearing from a lot of people about golf recently is that being a PGA tour player is exclusive, sure is, I'm certainly not going to be joining that exclusive club anytime soon after nearly 40 years of trying to learn I'm not even at the back of a long queue and the queue keeps getting longer in front of me, even for the over 50's tour. And yeah I've had to work for a living for 30 years too. That doesn't make the sport "exclusive", real success in a sport is always "exclusive". I just want to play the game, and I think anyone can, that doesn't add up to "exclusive". I also find it interesting Korean and Japanese women dominate female golf, 13 of the top 20, maybe Korean and Japanese women never have to work, but I doubt it, I reckon they just have a passion and dedication I could never have and find the time to get to the top.

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1 hour ago, bladehunter said:

I agree OP.  I’m a member at a club that also lets in the public.  So semi private. And it’s anything but exclusive.  Just watch the clientele teeing off on Saturday morning.  Lol. If that’s exclusive I’ll kiss your butt.  You can start this game for under $200 plus greens fee , clubs and all if you’re smart.  

Thanks, yeah great to hear that someone is thinking the same, I thought I was living in the only part of the world that charged $450 a year membership (no green fees) for a full 6000 yard 18 hole course, that's less than a night in a hotel in New York. So I'm not going crazy or in some Quantum Leap episode after all.

Edited by NoTimeToDie
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5 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

Certainly not an issue for Tour players.

I just can't see how it's exclusive for anyone, my parents never owned their own place until I left home and only started paying a mortgage in their 50's/60's and still paying it with one dead the other mid 80's. But they still came up with some money to take me to golf every week when I was a teen, maybe 3-5 bucks back then. 

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8 minutes ago, NoTimeToDie said:

Thanks, yeah great to hear that someone is thinking the same, I thought I was living in the only part of the world that charged $450 a year membership (no green fees) for a full 6000 yard 18 hole course, that's less than a night in a hotel in New York. So I'm not going crazy or in some Quantum Leap episode after all.

I pay $100 a month And have playing privileges at 2 courses.  That’s family.  My 12 year old plays too.     It’s only the metro areas where deals are hard to find.  And that’s simply supply and demand. 

 

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2 hours ago, NoTimeToDie said:

Calling Golf exclusive is just rubbish. An iPhone costs more than most sets of clubs and a bucket of balls is less than a movie in most places.

 

The truth is Golf is hard and not about natural athletic ability as much as most sports. I don't want it changed, do you?

 

You're first statement might be true, but you also don't need to buy a membership for $5k+ every year with an Iphone. 

 

I get your point, but as a young adult who has been golfing for years and have worked at a public golf course and been a member at several private courses I think there needs to be some change. IMO most private golf courses charge too much and suffer financially from not having enough members (may not be true nationally, but it is locally here in the Northeast). 

 

I have "club" hopped multiple times and a couple of times it has been due to life events: marriage, moving, etc. but other times it has also been because of the dues being charged. I have 2 private courses in my town: one of them charges $1,600 for food and drink minimum and that price is not tiered on age. My wife doesn't want to go to the club every friday night for dinner. The second course is 5 minutes from my house and after all their hidden fees that you learn about as a member I would have been easily at $5k all in. I only play max 35 rounds a year so that puts me at what ~$142 a round when their guest fee is $85 a round. Make things better I would have dropped down in membership to their 25 round package, but guess what that was $4.8k because they don't tier it on age. 

 

I would like to see golf do a couple of things:

1. Golf courses become more strict on pace of play and enforce it. 
2. Golf courses become more affordable - use volume to drive results and don't change your prices every single year dramatically

3. Create a network for memberships. In new england there are no brother/sister courses it seems. I would love to pay $3,500 and have the option to play 2-3 courses. 
4. I think Top Golf has been really good for the game of golf. I would love to see that type of energy somehow make it's way to the golf course. Not sure how, but I think Top Golf has grown the game more than the USGA has.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, NoTimeToDie said:

I think what you're saying and what I'm hearing from a lot of people about golf recently is that being a PGA tour player is exclusive, sure is, I'm certainly not going to be joining that exclusive club anytime soon after nearly 40 years of trying to learn I'm not even at the back of a long queue and the queue keeps getting longer in front of me, even for the over 50's tour. And yeah I've had to work for a living for 30 years too. That doesn't make the sport "exclusive", real success in a sport is always "exclusive". I just want to play the game, and I think anyone can, that doesn't add up to "exclusive". I also find it interesting Korean and Japanese women dominate female golf, 13 of the top 20, maybe Korean and Japanese women never have to work, but I doubt it, I reckon they just have a passion and dedication I could never have and find the time to get to the top.

Golf is an elitist sport in Korea. Many of the Koreans on tour started off by learning to play on public beaches. Most of their parents are working class, which means they are literally slaves to their bosses. They likely sacrificed everything for a chance at success for their daughters. Women don't have an easy path to be successful in Korea, golf is an avenue for that success and independence.

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17 minutes ago, UnderPar18 said:

 

You're first statement might be true, but you also don't need to buy a membership for $5k+ every year with an Iphone. 

 

I get your point, but as a young adult who has been golfing for years and have worked at a public golf course and been a member at several private courses I think there needs to be some change. IMO most private golf courses charge too much and suffer financially from not having enough members (may not be true nationally, but it is locally here in the Northeast). 

 

I have "club" hopped multiple times and a couple of times it has been due to life events: marriage, moving, etc. but other times it has also been because of the dues being charged. I have 2 private courses in my town: one of them charges $1,600 for food and drink minimum and that price is not tiered on age. My wife doesn't want to go to the club every friday night for dinner. The second course is 5 minutes from my house and after all their hidden fees that you learn about as a member I would have been easily at $5k all in. I only play max 35 rounds a year so that puts me at what ~$142 a round when their guest fee is $85 a round. Make things better I would have dropped down in membership to their 25 round package, but guess what that was $4.8k because they don't tier it on age. 

 

I would like to see golf do a couple of things:

1. Golf courses become more strict on pace of play and enforce it. 
2. Golf courses become more affordable - use volume to drive results and don't change your prices every single year dramatically

3. Create a network for memberships. In new england there are no brother/sister courses it seems. I would love to pay $3,500 and have the option to play 2-3 courses. 
4. I think Top Golf has been really good for the game of golf. I would love to see that type of energy somehow make it's way to the golf course. Not sure how, but I think Top Golf has grown the game more than the USGA has.  

 

 

In expensive places where land is scarce, maybe shorter courses, but hey everything is expensive in places where land is expensive, but it doesn't stop the driving range being a fun place to hit a few balls. I played a course that was only 1,200 yards par 3's the other day 9 holes it was fine and a good time, we have 2 like that around us. Do you have any short ones, they're probably reasonable prices? In New York I know it's short but Riis Park is only $15 a round weekdays and Forest Park in Queens is only $28 for 18 holes and that's a whole days entertainment not a couple of hours like a movie...

https://www.aviatorsports.com/things-to-do/riis-park/

http://www.golfnyc.com/

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Golf is going to have a bit a of cost disadvantage. After all, it's largest playing field of any sport, and real estate costs.

 

But hearing "golf is exclusive" is a lot like people who say "you can't afford to take your kid to a game."  That isn't true.  Parking and a ticket are the only things that are needed or the event doesn't happen for you. Beer/food/souvenirs are optional.  And pretty much every venue has some tickets that are fairly low price.

 

But what people really mean is "I can't afford to sit behind home plate at these prices and drink the 4 beers I want to drink."  And when it comes to golf they mean "it's too exclusive why can't I play Augusta National."  There are tons of golf courses that can be played.  And the collared shirt argument?  That's just someone looking for an excuse to justify not doing something.  You play hoops in crocs?    Soccer in jeans?

 

Certain levels of golf courses are exclusive.  But golf itself is not.

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I play with people wearing graphic tee shirts and cargo pants or jeans all the time! Golf can be as simple and cheap or expensive and exclusive as you wan to make it. Not everyone needs or wants the newest iPhone just like not everyone needs the newest driver and irons. You can play 18 holes every week for $25 or throw away $5000+ every year to suck on a nice course 🤣. Golf can be what you want. 

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23 minutes ago, oikos1 said:

Not sure where you're going with this OP.  It reads like "golf isn't an exclusive sport" so I can feel good about __________(insert emotion).

 

Golf is absolutely exclusive/privileged.  The economic numbers and cultural demographics clearly identify this.  There's really no argument that it isn't.  Some are able to break through the barriers, but just look at the numbers.  The average golfer household income is $100,980, more than 200% greater than non golfers.  https://www.benchcraftcompany.com/demographics/

 

It's a combination of time and money (and in certain instances who you know), and even at it's least expensive levels ($200 for used clubs, $100 month membership, peripheral club and equipment costs, access to courses and finding at least ten hours a week to devote to the game), that is a mountain of discretionary time and income that many do not have.

 

Embrace your blessings.  I'm off to do that right now...

 

These are averages and I am sure skewed towards high earners (90% for Fortune 500 CEOs play). I would be curious as to what the median numbers would like. One F500 CEO often equals 50 or more 'average' golfers. 

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4 minutes ago, Admhowarth said:

 

These are averages and I am sure skewed towards high earners (90% for Fortune 500 CEOs play). I would be curious as to what the median numbers would like. One F500 CEO often equals 50 or more 'average' golfers. 

Not to mention that correlation isn’t causation as in so often reminded here.  Just because the average income is a certain level doesn’t mean it requires that to play the game.   

 

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4 hours ago, rafal said:

With golf it's the time commitment that makes it exclusive, not just the entry fee.  Very difficult for working class parents to be able to devote the kind of time that golfing requires.  It basically requires working less hours or hiring more help.  Either way it gets expensive rather quickly. 

 

Moreover, golf naturally requires you to play it during day hours and not evenings (like cinema for example).  Finally it's effort and a physical activity, sometimes people simply do not have the energy to do stuff like that after their exhausting shifts.

I play 9 holes walking in under two hours with my 13m.o. and 6wk.o. in the double stroller. The older one loves it, smaller one sleeps. 

 

If your home course is excessively busy or stuffy about having kids with you, I can see there being some difficulty.

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9 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

This ^. My father in law literally thinks my small club is “ snobby “.  It’s full of blue collar folks like him.    And wonders where I “ get all that extra money “. Meanwhile he has a boat , an RV , a rollback truck requiring class A license just to haul his antique tractor collection around the southeast to shows.  Yea.  All that extra money - indeed.  

 

Now this is getting to the heart of things.  Most people who say stuff like that usually have their own things where an eyebrow could be raised when they cast aspersions on how others spend their money.

 

 

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2 hours ago, UnderPar18 said:

 

You're first statement might be true, but you also don't need to buy a membership for $5k+ every year with an Iphone. 

 

I get your point, but as a young adult who has been golfing for years and have worked at a public golf course and been a member at several private courses I think there needs to be some change. IMO most private golf courses charge too much and suffer financially from not having enough members (may not be true nationally, but it is locally here in the Northeast). 

 

I have "club" hopped multiple times and a couple of times it has been due to life events: marriage, moving, etc. but other times it has also been because of the dues being charged. I have 2 private courses in my town: one of them charges $1,600 for food and drink minimum and that price is not tiered on age. My wife doesn't want to go to the club every friday night for dinner. The second course is 5 minutes from my house and after all their hidden fees that you learn about as a member I would have been easily at $5k all in. I only play max 35 rounds a year so that puts me at what ~$142 a round when their guest fee is $85 a round. Make things better I would have dropped down in membership to their 25 round package, but guess what that was $4.8k because they don't tier it on age. 

 

I would like to see golf do a couple of things:

1. Golf courses become more strict on pace of play and enforce it. 
2. Golf courses become more affordable - use volume to drive results and don't change your prices every single year dramatically

3. Create a network for memberships. In new england there are no brother/sister courses it seems. I would love to pay $3,500 and have the option to play 2-3 courses. 
4. I think Top Golf has been really good for the game of golf. I would love to see that type of energy somehow make it's way to the golf course. Not sure how, but I think Top Golf has grown the game more than the USGA has.  

 

 

In most places in the US you don't need to have a $5K annual membership to play golf. Heck in most places in the US you don't even need to have a membership.  The average cost of 18 holes with a cart in the US is under $40. In most US locations golf isn't remotely close to being priced for exclusivity. 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, NoTimeToDie said:

The truth is Golf is hard and not about natural athletic ability as much as most sports.

 

People of average athletic ability can become accomplished golfers. Pros and top amateurs, however, often have high natural athletic ability. Their hand-eye coordination and balance is off the charts. How many golfers can bounce a golf repeatedly off an upturned clubface, then pop it skyward and hit it like a baseball? Tiger and some of his pals can, but not many 20-HDCPers can.

 

Jack Nicklaus was offered both a golf and basketball scholarship to Ohio State, but chose golf. Hale Irwin was an all-Big 8 defensive back for University of Colorado and played golf in the spring.

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